Cricket World Cup: New English dawn waits for one more match
Afghanistan, predictably, and England, perhaps equally so, will be flying home from the cricket World Cup regardless of the outcome from their clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Since being dumped out of the competition by Bangladesh last time out, the knives have been sharpening for a host of the side’s under-performing players, as well as the failing coach.
Once their plane touches down on these shores, the likes of Eoin Morgan, Ian Bell, James Anderson and Stuart Broad will all be under the one-day international microscope.
Peter Moores, as coach, will likely hog most of the initial inspection as his second tenure in charge continues to be as underwhelming as his first.
Before all that, though, there’s a chance for this stagnant rabble to go out and fly in the face of modern-day cricket with their cautious approach one last time.
They are 1/9 to beat their Associate opponents, which can’t be backed with any authority at this stage, while Afghanistan are given an 11/2 chance of ending their campaign on an ultimate high.
Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes are definitely ruled out through injury, paving the way for Ravi Bopara and, more importantly, James Tredwell to step into the breach.
Tredwell has been England’s most consistent and successful ODI bowler for some time but, like that tin of beans that gets pushed to the back of the cupboard and forgotten about, has yet to see the light of day.
It would rub ironic yet appropriate salt into England’s gaping World Cup wound if the Kent spinner were to have a significant impact on proceedings to claim the man of the match award at 12/1.
Preceding England’s painful farewell to the tournament is a side at the polar opposite end of the scale to Moores’ plodders.
New Zealand have been a force in their co-hosted tournament and are guaranteed to finish top of Pool A. Should they beat Bangladesh it will be the first time they have reached the knockout rounds unbeaten. 1/7 says they do it.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £25 in free bets.